More than one month ago, Piotr Solnica wrote a manifesto My time with Rails is up.

I felt myself agitated. I waited—while the foam settles—on purpose: I wanted to express my opinion, unbiased and calm. I kinda agreed completely, but as time was passing, I was getting an impression that I was zombied. After all I love all that mess, I love open classes and monkeypatching for it’s incomparable ability to bring elegance to where it never has belonged.

Once one month elapsed, I am ready to articulate my opinion: in Ruby, monkeypatching is one of the best things all around and should be used extensively. Yes, I said that. I do and I will use monkeypatching (refinements where it’s appropriate, and monkeypatching elsewhere.) An axe is a great tool, but when one wants to install the screw, she’d better use a hammer. Or a screwdriver, whether she is graduated in cabinetry.

Ruby is all about elegance, intuitively clear solutions, fast ans pleasant code creation. Nobody sane would use Ruby as is there in low-memory devices, real-time systems, high-load message processing etc. Once twitter succeeded, guys left Ruby. Not because Ruby is bad, not at all. Because Ruby is just not about that. Failure of an axe to install screws [in robust way] does not make an axe the bad tool in general.

Cooking a dinner for myself, I fry steaks and seethe potatoes. I have salted cucumbers, pickled pepper, sauces and drinks: all that frontend, you know. But even for backend I have the steaks and the potatoes.

I have beach shoes and office shoes. I have desktop and notebook. I use Ubuntu at home and Gentoo at work. I believe you got the point.

What LOC is more readable, elegant and easier in general:

elapsed = 2.business_days('EUR', 'USD').after(
# or
elapsed = BusinessDaysFactory.for_currencies('EUR', 'USD')
                             .add(, 2)

Ruby yielded it’s popularity because of Rails. I am not a fan of Rails. But I am mature enough to face facts as they are: unless Rails existed, we’ve got two popular scripting languages only: php and python.

Rails yielded it’s popularity because of monkeypatching. It is proven to work, to be robust, to be maintainable and to continue producing success stories for startups.

So, unless you are an academician, writing your seventh PhD thesis on functional patterns in Haskell, please, get your hands off monkeypatching. It is by no means bad pattern. Even more: it is a great pattern, while used where it is applicable to.

I’ve had a colleague, who was geeky on pattern matching. Pattern matching is a great feature, that is not a part of Ruby. That simple. He tried to bring pattern matching to Ruby, he even implemented sorta working prototype… The only problem is that Ruby has an aversion to it. Ruby existing syntax just rejected it. Ruby is a perfect language, but whether you need pattern matching, please, consider to switch to Erlang/Elixir/±20 other languages that have it natively supported. Ruby just has not.

On the other hand, as you have chosen Ruby, please, stop tinkering anything else out of it. Use monkeypatching. Use open classes. Use criptic variables. Create your own .rubocop.yml file, allowing non-ascii method names, increased cyclomatic complexity and multiline block chains.

Ruby does not need a plastic surgery, it is beautiful enough as it was conceived.

BEAM Bloggers Webring